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Pan-India mobile number portability by June ’09

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday recommended that the DoT should come out with the road map for MNP for implementation in rest of the country, reports Archana Khatri.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2008 23:14 IST
Archana Khatri
Archana Khatri
Hindustan Times

Want to change that service provider, but keep your old mobile number? That will soon be a reality for all the mobile phone users across the country by June 2009.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday recommended that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) should come out with the road map for MNP (mobile number portability) for implementation in rest of the country by June 2009.

Communications and IT minister A Raja had announced the phase one of mobile number portability for the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai in November 2007.

To start with, transferring one’s mobile number from one operator to another will be possible only within a city. If you will move out of the city, you will have to surrender the number and take a new one.

The entire process of streamlining the system to make mobile number portability a reality will take about nine months from the date when the license for setting up a clearing-house is awarded by the DoT.

The role of the clearing-house will be to provide end-to-end mobile number portability solution like managing call delivery and billing between two operators.

For the mobile number portability to succeed, the networks of all the operators will have to be simultaneously upgraded Typically, four to six operators provide mobile services in most Indian cities. Industry experts say that more the number of operators, more complex the streaming of the process may be.

“If the data is not appropriately recorded (in the central clearing house), incoming calls could be lost”, said telecom consultant Usha Rajeev with PricewaterhouseCoopers

The telecom regulator has also recommended that in case of porting the prepaid mobile number, the phone user will have to exhaust the balance in his phone as no credit transfer will be allowed. In India, more than 80 per cent of the mobile phone connections fall in the prepaid category.

Telecom regulator also recommends that the break perid while porting the number should not be more than two hours.